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Preserve Nature

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Pope Francis

Francis’s Environmental Encyclical
Pollution, climate change and the right to water are issues that make the Earth and the poor cry out. Extracts from Pope Francis’s text.

From waste pollution to global warming
“Some forms of pollution affect people every day. Exposure to atmospheric pollutants has a wide-ranging impact on health, particularly of the poor [...]. The Earth, our home, seems to be turning into a huge rubbish dump. In many parts of the planet, old people nostalgically remember as they once were landscapes now submerged by waste]...]. These issues are intimately linked to the culture of waste, which affects both the human beings who are excluded from it and the things that are rapidly transformed into waste”.
“The climate is a common good of humanity, belonging to and for everyone. Globally, the climate is a complex system relating to many conditions essential to human life. There is a very substantial scientific consensus that indicates we are facing a worrying warming of the climate system. [...] Humanity is called to be aware of the need to change its way of living, producing and consuming in order to combat this warming, or at least the human causes that produce or exacerbate it.]...] If the current tendency continues, this century could witness unheard-of climate change and unprecedented destruction, with grave consequences for all of us”.
Climate change and abandoned migrants
“Climate change is a global issue with serious implications for the environment, society, the economy, distribution and politics, and constitutes one of humanity’s principal current challenges. In coming years, the greatest impact will probably fall on developing countries. Many of the poor live in places particularly affected by warming-related phenomena [...]. There is a tragic increase in migrants fleeing poverty aggravated by environmental impairment who are not recognised as refugees by international conventions and carry the weight of their own abandoned lives with no regulatory safeguards. Unfortunately, there is a general indifference to these tragedies, which still occur in various parts of the world. The lack of any reaction to the drama of our brothers and sisters indicates the loss of the sense of responsibility for our fellows on which any civil society is founded”.
Il Corriere della Sera
June 16th, 2015

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Pier Francesco Rimbotti

When the world will switch to renewables, the energy wars will end
Iraq, Syria and Ukraine seem to be independent conflicts, but they are in fact " XXI century wars for energy." The renewables will change things
Today, for both, Italy and Europe, one of the most dramatic issues are the "journeys of hope" from the northern coasts of Africa to Sicily with an always higher cost in terms of human lives. In trying to understand the different causes that led to this situation, we cannot neglect the one related to the energy aspects. For example, Libya, a modest size state but rich in oil and gas, has seen the military intervention of 2011, inaugurated by France with an air strike directed against Gaddafi's ground forces around Benghazi and followed a few hours later by the launch of cruise missiles from the US and British warships to strategic objectives. Why such a sudden and massive intervention? But also Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Nigeria, South Sudan, Ukraine are countries that struggle to resolve energy issues. All situations that the military intervention has done far from solved, leaving these countries in total chaos and their people in fear of civil war.
By Myriam Giuliano, Pier Francesco Rimbotti, President of Infrastrutture S.p.A. – LINKIESTA
June 11th, 2015

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Barack Obama

Barack Obama
More Renewable Energy
The President Obama has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment

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Barack Obana

Pope Francis
Climate Change
Leaders gather at Vatican for historic meeting on climate change and sustainable development

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Papa Francesco

Pope Francis and the great hope for saving the climate
With him religious environmentalism is growing, which addresses current ecological issues from a faith base perspective
By now we talk a lot about climate change, sustainability and energy production from renewable sources such as the next and almost mandatory goal. But certainly the news of a Pope deeply, explicitly "green", may leave many open-mouthed.
The Church has now stepped in to address the problem of "Global Warming", the huge problems arising from climate change also caused by fossil fuels, among other things, affect more severely - and indirectly - in those poorer countries like the Philippines, India, Latin America, where they cause cyclones, floods and other extreme events.
In this context is included the decisive intervention of Pope Francis on which invites all people to protect the Earth. "The time to find global solutions is running out." This is the message that Pope Francis has recently sent to the UN climate summit held in Lima in the first ten days of the month. Pope Bergoglio calls for a "Responsible collective answer, that goes beyond particular interests and behavior and is developed free of political and economic pressures" It almost seems like an admonition to some oil lobby... Adds the Pope in a tweet: "The ecological question is vital for human survival and has a moral dimension that touches everyone."
By Myriam Giuliano, Pier Francesco Rimbotti, President of Infrastrutture S.p.A. – LINKIESTA
February 7th, 2015

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Fracking

Il Corriere della Sera
According to MIT Study: Wind Turbines Not a Risk to Human Health
There is no evidence of a causal relationship between exposure to wind turbine noise and self-reported medical illnesses and health conditions as psychological stress, sleep disorders or epilepsy
Abstract of the research Objective: This review examines the literature related to health effects of wind turbines.
Methods: We reviewed literature related to sound measurements near turbines, epidemiological and experimental studies, and factors associated with annoyance.
Results: (1) Infrasound sound near wind turbines does not exceed audibility thresholds. (2) Epidemiological studies have shown associations between living near wind turbines and annoyance. (3) Infrasound and low-frequency sound do not present unique health risks. (4) Annoyance seems more strongly related to individual characteristics than noise from turbines.
Discussion: Further areas of inquiry include enhanced noise characterization, analysis of predicted noise values contrasted with measured levels postinstallation, longitudinal assessments of health pre- and postinstallation, experimental studies in which subjects are “blinded” to the presence or absence of infrasound, and enhanced measurement techniques to evaluate annoyance.

Article web page (italian)    Download the research    Full MIT study web page

 

Fracking

Sick climate: Birds are the first victims
In 25 years, 33 species have already disappeared. Other are at risk. Blame global warming
The proverb "one swallow does not make a summer" may no longer be current in the next few decades. In fact, swallows, larks and other birds are at risk of disappearing forever from our skies. In a world "sick" from climate change, wildlife is experiencing a period of unprecedented crisis. Biodiversity is confronted with highly negative seasons and, at present, the experts' attention is focused on species threatened with extinction, particularly on birds. It seems that the renewable energy sources, solar, wind, should make a strong contribution to climate change, nevertheless, wind receives heavy attacks from some associations concerned about the impact this can have on the different birds.
It is estimated that our country has the largest number of species of animals and, therefore, where more easily noticed the decrease of some groups than others. Returning to the birds, the data provided by the scholars speak of at least 33 varieties typical of farming, halved in less than a quarter of a century. Threatened with extinction are the lark, the martin and the swallow. Unfortunately, this is not just an Italian issue.
Recently, as reported by the National Audubon Society (NAS), the same threat is occurring in North America. In fact, 588 species of birds in the next 65 years will live in smaller areas or move completely to not disappear. The study examined shows conclusively on the basis of scientific data, collected at a global level, how the mountain birds which occupy a narrow strip of altitude are among the most endangered species from extinction.
By Myriam Giuliano, Pier Francesco Rimbotti, President of Infrastrutture S.p.A. – LINKIESTA
November 8th, 2014

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Fracking

The great hoax of Law Decree "Spalma incentivi"
Law Decree No. 91/2014: "Spalma incentivi" (Italian Decree on the Cut of Incentives for Photovoltaic Plants)
This is why the measure causes difficulties for companies that have invested in PV.
A few days ago came into force the so-called decree "spalma-incentivi" (Law Decree no. 91 /2014). With a surprising speed at the expense of the desired conciliation between the parties, the government on June 24th 2014 published in the Official Journal the Decree (Spalma-Incentivi) that applies to PV plants with a nominal peak power exceeding 200 kW, from 1 January 2015 - a "modulate reduction" (in fact an immediate reduction of 20%) to the FiTs that have been awarded under any Conto Energia and will be accompanied by the extension of the applicable incentive period from 20 to 24 years, or opt for an 8% reduction of the current FiTs without the extension of the incentive period.
The goal, as stated in the text, should be to "optimize the management of harvest times and provision of incentives and promote better sustainability in policy support for renewable sources." Too bad instead of this, the decree represents yet another measure, perhaps the most harmful, with which in the last two years the government has been putting a strain on the photovoltaic sector…
By Alessandra Guida, Technical Manager of Infrastrutture S.p.A. – LINKIESTA
July 12, 2014

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Fracking

With externalities and renewables already cost less than the fossil
If producing electricity from coal now costs less than from renewable sources is only because the negative externalities are discharged on the community. If we factor in the increasing health and environmental problems that are being caused by the burning of fossil fuel, we find that it is less expensive to “go green”-use solar and wind to generate electricity.
By Giulio Meneghello, QualEnergia.it, September 19th, 2013

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Study of the University of Cambridge
The social cost of carbon: implications for modernizing our electricity system
Laurie T. Johnson & Starla Yeh & Chris Hope

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Fracking

Are Fracking Wastewater Wells Poisoning the Ground beneath Our Feet?
Leaking injection wells may pose a risk--and the science has not kept pace with the growing glut of wastewater.

Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground.
No company would be allowed to pour such dangerous chemicals into the rivers or onto the soil. But until recently, scientists and environmental officials have assumed that deep layers of rock beneath the earth would safely entomb the waste for millennia.
There are growing signs they were mistaken.
By Abram Lustgarten, Scientific American & Pro Publica, June 21st, 2012

Scientific American article here   

 

Death threats, intimidation and abuse: climate change scientist Michael E. Mann counts the cost of honesty.
Michael E. Mann, creator of the "hockey stick" graph that illustrates recent rapid rises in global temperatures, is to publish a book next month detailing the "disingenuous and cynical" methods used by those who have tried to disprove his findings. The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars is a startling depiction of a scientist persecuted for trying to tell the truth.
Among the tactics used against Mann were the theft and publication, in 2009, of emails he had exchanged with climate scientist Professor Phil Jones of East Anglia University. Selected, distorted versions of these emails were then published on the internet in order to undermine UN climate talks due to begin in Copenhagen a few weeks later. These negotiations ended in failure. The use of those emails to kill off the climate talks was "a crime against humanity, a crime against the planet," says Mann, a scientist at Penn State University.
Robin Mckie, The Guardian, March 3rd, 2012

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Arctic Ocean freshwater bulge detected
The bulge is some 8,000 cubic km in size and has risen by about 15cm since 2002.
The team thinks it may be the result of strong winds whipping up a great clockwise current in the northern polar region called the Beaufort Gyre. This would force the water together, raising sea surface height, the group tells the journal Nature Geoscience.
"In the western Arctic, the Beaufort Gyre is driven by a permanent anti-cyclonic wind circulation. It drives the water, forcing it to pile up in the centre of gyre, and this domes the sea surface," explained lead author Dr Katharine Giles from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London.
Arctic summers have seen a decline in both ice extent and thickness. "In our data, we see the trend being biggest in the centre of the gyre and less around the edges," she told BBC News.
Dr Giles and colleagues made their discovery using radar satellites belonging to the European Space Agency (Esa). These spacecraft can measure sea-surface height even when there is widespread ice cover because they are adept at picking out the cracks, or leads, that frequently appear in the frozen floes.
The data (1995-2010) indicates a significant swelling of water in the Beaufort Gyre, particularly since the early part of the 2000s. The rising trend has been running at 2cm per year.
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News, January 23rd, 2012

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Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at University College London

 

Berkeley Earth's land surface temperature data from 1800 to 2009, showing deviation from the mean temperature over that period – and overall global warming since the industrial revolution
The world is getting warmer, countering the doubts of climate change sceptics about the validity of some of the scientific evidence, according to the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date. Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found several key issues that sceptics claim can skew global warming figures had no meaningful effect. The Berkeley Earth project compiled more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world and found that the average global land temperature has risen by around 1°C since the mid-1950s.
By Ian Sample, The Guardian, October 20th, 2011

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Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature video source

 

World headed for irreversible climate change in five years, IEA warns
The world is likely to build so many fossil-fuelled power stations, energy-guzzling factories and inefficient buildings in the next five years that it will become impossible to hold global warming to safe levels, and the last chance of combating dangerous climate change will be "lost for ever", according to the most thorough analysis yet of world energy infrastructure. Anything built from now on that produces carbon will do so for decades, and this "lock-in" effect will be the single factor most likely to produce irreversible climate change, the world's foremost authority on energy economics has found. If this is not rapidly changed within the next five years, the results are likely to be disastrous.
Fiona Harvey - The Guardian, November 9th, 2011

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Video message from Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, for the Africa Energy Ministerial
On the Road to Durban: Promoting Sustainable Energy Access in Africa
Johannesburg, September 15th, 2011

 

Energy, Government flunked, for 51% does not do enough.
Government flunked in energy policies. Thumbs down for nine out of ten Italians. A survey conducted by ISPO and promoted by Anev (National Wind Energy Association ) reveals that 51% of respondents viewed almost to nothing the Government's ability to sustain the renewable energies, while 37% believe that he did something but not enough.
By Antonio Cianciullo – La Repubblica, September 26th, 2011

News webpage (Italian)    Download the survey (Italian)

 

Italians do not feel represented by NIMBY
The opinion of Italians on wind technology is largely positive, however, there are still, some doubts and false beliefs therefore, the importance of continuing to provide timely and accurate information.
by Pier Francesco Rimbotti - Presidente - Infrastrutture SpA, September 2011

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Global Warming Reduces Expected Yields of Harvests in Some Countries, Study Says
Global warming is already cutting substantially into potential crop yields in some countries – to such an extent that it may be a factor in the food price increases that have caused worldwide stress in recent years, researchers suggest in a new study. But the authors of the study – David Lobell and Justin Costa-Roberts of Stanford University, and Wolfram Schlenker of Columbia University – pointed out that temperature increases were expected to accelerate in coming decades, making it likely that the challenges to food production will grow in an era when demand is expected to rise sharply.
From Justin Gillis, The New York Times, May 5th, 2011

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The effectiveness of energy efficiency policies in Italy
Energy efficiency remains an issue in Italy and Europe. Goals and timing of European directives overlap, creating discrete planning difficulties between policy makers. Italy stands for the good results that the white certificates system has guaranteed since its implementation. Among the regions, considering the energy consumption, is Calabria to have achieved more savings from energy efficiency certificates and tax deductions. However, initial benefits seem exhausted: Therefore, policy makers today are forced to revise the system, which inevitably comes to a general rethinking that integrates and expands the existing instruments, and to define new technical guidelines.

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Tremonti's warning: further risk instability from Japan - "Italy does not have nuclear debt".
The natural disaster occurred in Japan may lead to further financial instability. This was underlined by the Italian Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti at the Confcommercio forum in Cernobbio. "The withdrawal of funds for reconstruction - said Tremonti - can lead to further financial instability. A further difficulty is being added to many ohters. "
There is public debt, private debt, but there is also the atomic  debt to calculate" Tremonti said, according to which regarding the nuclear issue "we must reflect, discuss and see who won and who lost. "What has happened in Japan for natural facts - explained the Minister - poses a fundamental question that is energy. It is more difficult that everything continuous as before, it is easier to take time to reflect and calculate.
From Il Sole 24 Ore, March 19th, 2011

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Greenpeace, more renewable reduce geopolitical crisis impact.
The crisis in Libya and its impact in the supply of oil and gas to our country, "show, once again, how much renewable energy is also essential to improve security in the energy supply in Italy". Greenpeace acts on the current scenario of Libya, emphasizing how green energy can reduce the impact of geopolitical crises. "Renewables are the only ones able to increase the independence from abroad and to reduce the impact of potential political crises in the producing countries". A statement from Mr. Domenico Belli, Climate and Energy Campaign of Greenpeace Italy.
From Libero, February 23rd, 2011

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Photovoltaic: how much it costs to Italian families? €1.70 per month
Initial estimates of the GSE denials that were assumed heavy costs on bills
Photovoltaic is a great economic and social opportunity for Italy: It would be very serious if we lost the train of renewables. A statement from Mr. Massimo Sapienza, president of AssoEnergie Future, at a press conference in the Senate on February 15th, 2011 in which he presented together with Grid Parity Project, the data of the Italian photovoltaic sector recently made under fire from many quarters for the high cost of incentives that would weigh on the bills of Italian citizens.
from Il Corriere della Sera, February 17th 2011

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Energy: only 100% renewable - can be done by 2030
The world would need 4 million wind turbines, 90,000 solar power plants and 1.7 billion of photovoltaic parks.
In 2030 the energy produced from fossil fuels or nuclear plants will be a thing from the past. Utopia? Maybe. Wishing it could be done, it's just a matter of economic policy. According to a study by Mark Delucchi (University of California Davis) and Mark Jacobson (Stanford University) published last January on the journal Energy Policy.
from Il Corriere della Sera, January 28th, 2011

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Wind energy. Comments and proposals to the draft legislative decree
Rimbotti analyses the draft legislative decree, identifying critical issues and proposing alternative solutions. Under risk, according to Rimbotti, is the sector development, consequently, the possibility to achieve ambitious economic, energy and environmental objectives.
by Pier Francesco Rimbotti, Infrastrutture SpA
January 25th, 2011

Does climate change spread tropical diseases?
Evidence suggests that tropical diseases, such as malaria, are likely to spread as a result of the extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change, yet the theory remains a controversial one among ecologists, climatologists and biologists.
by Arthur Allen, The Washington Post
Monday, January 10, 2011

Ancient Italian Town Has Wind at Its Back
TOCCO DA CASAURIA, Italy — The towering white wind turbines that rise ramrod straight from gnarled ancient olive groves here speak to something extraordinary happening across Italy. Faced with sky-high electricity rates, small communities across a country known more for garbage than environmental citizenship are finding economic salvation in making renewable energy. More than 800 Italian communities now make more energy than they use because of the recent addition of renewable energy plants.
by Elisabeth Rosenthal, New York Times
September 28, 2010

Oil companies could harm their US drilling prospects with refuge spill
by Sheila McNulty - Financial Times
April 8, 2010

United Nations Climate Change Conference

Copenhagen Dec 7- Dec 17 - 2009

Evidence for human interference with Earth's climate continues to accumulate

November 30, 2009

From Science Daily:

Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide Emissions Up by 29 Percent Since 2000

November 17, 2009

From The White House:

President Obama's speech at the United Nations on Climate Change

September 22, 2009

From the UN News Centre:

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Climate Change Summit opening remarks

September 22, 2009

 

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